Coronavirus notices, cancellations, updates 

Editor’s note:  Printed here are some of the coronavirus-related announcements and notices received at the Pelican Rapids Press offices.  We’re including as many as possible in our print edition of the newspaper—but readers need to be aware that circumstances are changing, almost hourly. 

The following items are as up-to-date as possible, through Monday noon, March 16, when this edition went to press. 

We are updating our website and our Facebook social media page as often as possible. 

If your organization needs to circulate information, please send to the Press—preferably by email: 

text: 218-820-1087

phone: 218-863-1421 

Governor Walz issued an Executive Order for schools to close from March 18 – March 27. 

On Monday morning, the Pelican Rapids  school leadership team made the decision to also close on Tuesday,  March 17 as based on CDC guidelines on gatherings of no more than 50 people that we are unable to accommodate.

School officials are ironing out  a plan to deliver school breakfasts and lunches for students needing them. Families  will find information on how to sign-up on the Pelican Rapids Public School’s Facebook Page or our website 

There will be information about Club Vikes posted shortly as well.

The leadership team of the Pelican Rapids School District met Monday morning, March 16 to plan the school’s response to the  virus crisis.  The meeting included transportation, buildings-facilities, teaching staff, and para-professional staff members of the leadership team. 

“We’re just trying to keep up with the changes, and make sure we end up with a safe situation for our students, staff and the community,” said Pelican Superintendent Ed Richardson. 

“This is a rapidly evolving situation…things have changed several times in a matter of days,” said Richardson.

He reminded district residents that Club Vikes is open  for school age child care, for emergency workers, first responders and health workers.  

Pelican School board Chairman Jon Karger said that the Monday night, March 16, school board meeting was to be held as scheduled  at 6 p.m. Board members will be updated at that time, and more plans will be worked out.  

No visitors will be allowed at the Pelican Valley Senior Living facilities 

Pelican Valley Senior Living is implementing precautions following the recommendations from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to mitigate the spread of the flu as well as the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

“Our number one priority is the health, wellness, and safety of our residents and staff,” commented Tyler Ahlf, Executive Director of Pelican Valley Senior Living. He continued, “We are actively taking steps to mitigate any illness in our facilities and working to be positioned to respond quickly and effectively should it impact someone in our settings.” 

Effective immediately, Pelican Valley is implementing a no visitor policy except for situations such as end-of-life or under special circumstances. Emergency situations/visits will be considered on an individual basis. Such visits will be limited to minimize exposure beyond the family member. 

Statement from Pelican school district: School closed, Club Vikes open to health care, emergency workers 

Consistent with Emergency Executive Order issued by Governor Wal, the Pelican Rapids Schools will be closed from Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 27, 2020. 

All activities and programs will be cancelled during this time except for Club Vikes, which will be open for all emergency health care and law enforcement children. 

As details are worked out by district leadership we will continue to post updates on the district Facebook and website pages.

 Please be assured that the safety and well-being of our children, staff and community continue to be our first priority as we make plans to provide a safe learning environment.

Sanford Health announces new visitor policy

Sanford Health has announced a new visitor policy to protect the health and safety of its patients and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policy, which took effect on March 13, is intended to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Sanford Health clinics and medical centers and the communities we serve. 

The new policy will restrict all visitors to immediate family members only and will only allow one visitor per patient. Family members who visit a Sanford Health facility will be screened as they enter to check for respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough and shortness of breath) and will be asked about recent travel. Access will be limited to a few specific entry points in each facility.  

Statement from Larry’s Super market, Pelican Rapids 

Dear Patrons, 

With the recent announcement of MN schools closing March 18-March 27, Larry’s Super Market will continue to operate business as usual until further notice. 

We will keep everyone notified of any changes as they come. 

We are continuing to be as flexible to our employees who have young children as we have always been and we will continue to be in contact with our high school and college age employees.

With that being said, please be considerate of our employees and other customers and stay home when you are not feeling well and try not to bring any sick individuals in with you. 

We have plans in place should anything further need to happen. We will follow guidelines as they are presented to us.

Thank you,

Mark and Brittany Dokken

Statement from Pastor Bob Satterlie Calvary Evangelical Free Church, Pelican Rapids 

 There are many dramatic changes taking place with group gatherings due to the Covid-19 viral prevention. 

Calvary Evangelical Free Church,   gathered for worship on Sunday, but we encourage limited person to person contact. 

We will not pass an offering plate – a box will be in the foyer for offering collection. We discourage hand shaking. We do have hand disinfectant dispensers in the building. If you are not feeling well or have compromised health we encourage you to stay home. If you have been to places where the virus is present, we encourage you to take a week or two off. 

This situation is fluid and we will keep you posted if anything develops. The goal is to keep the virus out of our area, and limit its spread if it shows up.

 Finally, do not be afraid. God is in complete control. We have an opportunity to be beacons of hope and calm – our world is not falling apart. At the same time we must exercise caution. Above all, love one another – perfect love casts out all fear!

Pastor Bob

Arts groups urge patrons to donate cancelled event ticket cost back  

Arts organizations across the state are taking action to do their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Minnesota by postponing or canceling events as recommended by Governor Walz. Minnesota’s arts and culture organizations are an important part of our community fabric and economy.

 If an event is canceled for which you have a ticket, please consider donating the cost of the ticket and/or making a special donation to help these important community resources get through this tough time. While this will be a challenging time for us all, the arts will help to see us through it, and our work together will make a difference.

St. Leonard’s pastor 

“stuck in paradise” with flights from Philippines stalled

The Sunday church attendance obligation for Catholics has been suspended by St. Cloud Diocese Bishop Donald Kettler. 

Events for diocese, such as Confirmation, have been postponed or cancelled, reported Rev. Jeff Ethen, St. Leonard’s Catholic Church, Pelican Rapids. Father Ethen happened to be scuba diving in the Philippines March 6-21. 

His flight home from Manila was in doubt as of last weekend, as all domestic flights were cancelled and his group can’t get to Manila from their island. 

“So, we spent the entire night hunched over quickly fading options and plan to take an international flight from our island to Japan. (Our options were South Korea or Saudi Arabia; so Narita, Japan it is. I believe we got seats for our group of a dozen for the 20th,” noted Rev. Ethen, on March 15. “Domestic flights were cancelled to contain virus to the individual islands. Our domestic reservations were wiped out and it was 1st come, 1st out. Seats were gone in minutes and we are stuck in paradise!” 

Essentia announces visitor restrictions 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health has made the difficult decision to restrict visitors at our hospitals. This is being done to protect patients and staff, and prevent the spread of this virus.

No visitors are allowed, except in the following circumstances:

Inpatients: Visitors only will be allowed based on compassionate-care needs. Family members are advised to call the hospital/unit before coming.

Emergency department: One visitor for pediatric, vulnerable adult, trauma or other patient requiring communication to a health care team on their behalf.

Pediatric patients: One adult visitor will be allowed per patient.

Labor and delivery patients: One adult visitor will be allowed per patient.

Neonatal intensive care unit: One parent is permitted to visit at a time.

All other visitors will be asked to leave the hospital.

Additionally, no visitors who are ill will be allowed.

Central Lutheran, other churches suspend worship

Central Lutheran Church has cancelled all activities.

This  includes Wednesday Lenten Services, Confirmation Classes, Sunday School, and Sunday Worship Services through Sunday, March 29. If you have any questions at any time, please feel free to contact the Church office at 218-863-8743. 

Zion Lutheran Church is also suspending Sunday worship, as are most area churches—though some have not circulated formal notices to the Press. 

Contact your churches directly for updated information.

West Central Initiative responds to Covid-19 situation

As always, West Central Initiative keeps the health and safety of our communities, our team and families as a priority.

Beginning on Monday, March 16, until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public as a precaution to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The daily operations at WCI will continue. Please note:

• Our team is here to serve you and continue our work. Staff are encouraged to work remotely using telephone, email and other forms of communications.

• Direct phone calls will be routed to staff cell phones.  Individuals can be reached by accessing the staff directory through the general office number: 218-739-2239.

• Any daily office functions that require on-site staffing will continue to be performed.

• If you’ve reserved one of our conference rooms, we are offering organizers tools to conduct virtual meetings.  

• The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offers information on the virus.